People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Jane French (1776–1842)

Jane Hewitt (1776-1842) was found guilty on 15th April 1803 at the Chester Quarter Sessions, Cheshire of stealing 13 silk handkerchiefs. Sentenced to 14 years transportation Hewitt arrived at Sydney aboard the William Pitt in April 1806. It seems that her young son Alexander, born in 1799, was either dead or was left behind in England. 

Hewitt joined her convict husband Alexander in New South Wales. They had a daughter Jane (b.1807) before separating. Hewitt (and her daughter) were living with John Cribb by 1814, whose cousin James was to later marry Hewitt’s daughter. Following John Cribb's death in September 1833, Hewitt married John French at Richmond on 31st October 1836.

Jane French died on 21st November 1842 and was buried two days later in the Cribb family vault as Jane French.

Citation details

'French, Jane (1776–1842)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Starkey, Jane
  • Hewitt, Jane
  • Cribb, Jane
  • Hewet, Jane
  • Hewett, Jane

16 July, 1776
Chester, Cheshire, England


21 November, 1842 (aged 66)
Richmond, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Convict Record

Crime: unknown
Sentence: 14 years
Court: Cheshire
Trial Date: 15 April 1803


Married: Yes
Children: Yes (1)


Children: Yes (2)